Sounds of the Orchestra

App review by
Erin Bell, Common Sense Media
Sounds of the Orchestra App Poster Image
Poor sound quality hampers orchestra app.

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A lot or a little?

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Ease of Play

Everything is tap to touch. There's some light reading, but the app is mostly pictures and sounds.

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What parents need to know

Parents need to know that problems with audio quality limit the educational value of Sounds of the Orchestra. The app aims to teach beginners about the different musical instruments that make up a classical orchestra. It's divided into three sections: "Learn" shows the layout of the orchestra with information about each instrument, "Listen" lets players tap on an instrument to hear a sound clip of it, and "Play" is a memory-matching card game for up to four players.

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Is it any good?

SOUNDS OF THE ORCHESTRA is an app that lacks quality audio -- an oversight that limits its value as a teaching tool. The instruments sound like computerized MIDI samples, and in an age where high-quality sound banks of real recorded instruments are readily available there's no excuse for not using them. What's more, the music the instruments play is often out of context, like a saxophone playing an excerpt from The Nutcracker ballet, or a trombone playing part of a Mozart string quartet. Kids will learn a few basic facts about instruments, but if you want to teach them what an orchestra really sounds like, play them a CD or take them to a concert.

App details

  • Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
  • Price: $1.99
  • Release date: September 26, 2010
  • Category: Music
  • Publisher: Smappsoft
  • Version: 1.0
  • Minimum software requirements: iOS 3.1.3 or later
  • Last updated: August 25, 2016

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